Saturday, December 3, 2005

December Blues

Bless the hearts of those souls who thought up the blog. Though December is notoriously hectic for women (okay guys, you have a little stress, too), I find myself slipping into Blogspot to read a few pithy comments. Some of the writers are genuinely funny and pick my spirits up in a period of overactivity of body and underachievement of mind. The snow outside is lovely to look upon, but really nasty to step into with high-heeled sandals. Which moron decided we should wear little strappy shoes when attending Christmas parties? I would go out and buy really wonderful dressy boots, except that my husband would kill me --- because, we are leaving for Ft. Myers in one week and boots, silky dresses and hot sunshine are tacky. Time is in such short supply, but here I sit .... accomplishing nothing, but the peculiar sense of ennui is draped over me like a funeral shroud. The Christmas letters are covering the dinette table in various stages of undone. The packing is in disarray .... half our clothes are in suitcases and I have forgotten which one has what in it. My newly purchased household furnishings are piled high in the garage, but the adoreable husband is grouching about the price of a U-Haul to drag them to Florida. And whose idea was it to buy again in FLorida? His! A little known fact (or rather... little thought fact) is that U-Hauls are really cheap if you are hauling one from southern Florida to northern Ohio, but don't contemplate visa versa...from Ohio to Florida is six times the price. Who would have thought that most of the U-Hauls wind up in Florida from the frozen north. I bet you could get a job just driving empty trailers back north from the sunny south! My cute youngest daughter had a major surgery on Wednesday and they are throwing her out in the snow today (insurance sucks) and I'll need to go stock up her fridge for their breakfasts and lunches. Dinners are already frozen in my freezer in anticipation of the grand opening. The question rumbling about in my head is ....why doesn't the husband think that the fridge is down a couple of pints and hit the local grocery? I think it is a man thing or maybe,.... is not a man thing. They have one wonderful son, but he is in New York for his first year of college. There again though.... if he were home, I'd be buying for three instead of two. The man versas woman thing just shows us that God truly made us different. Bless all men for their great right hemisphere brains and thank you, God for making women with pathways between the hemispheres, so something will get done!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays

The last posting indicated that we would be making a run for the border aproximately on Halloween or the 1st of November. Here we are in the frozen north and we are rapidly approaching December. Really, you would think that a pair of golden oldies would attempt to get their act together and head for sunshine, blue skies and white sand by the mile. We would have been there and I would have a paintbrush in my hand instead of a keyboard by now, except my other half has "stupid" written on his forehead. He picked up a muckbucket ( for the uninformed... that is a huge bucket that you use to pick road apples and wet bedding out of horses' stalls) full of water and popped two spinal disks back in October.Our family doctor thought it was muscle spasms and fluffed it off. After a week of barely moving and tremendous pain, I hauled his sorry arse to the hospital. The MRI showed the ruptured disks and now he is at the mercy of an advanced pain therapist, whom we lovingly call the voodoo doctor. He sticks needles into my darlin's spine in an attempt to shrink the swelling. These voodoo treatments are scheduled every two weeks for three visits, then you get to see a neurosurgeon. Things are getting better... he is driving and can move around without much discomfort, but the whole experience is starting to sound like life in an extended care facility. Lord, get me out of Ohio! (Personally, I think he likes the Dilaudid) Our timetable is so far out of whack that it may never again be back to normal. The Ft. Myers place didn't get a jot of damage from Wilma, which was fortunate, since the insurance was cancelled on Oct. 4th. The policy is back in effect, but something has gone from my spirit. We are told from the very beginning that the latter years will be wonderful. I wish I could remember who told me that... I would fire off a newsflash to them that would scorch their ears.
Speaking of that... I am on a new campaign. FOX's Bill O'Rielly has piqued my interest about the lack of "Merry Christmas" as opposed to "Happy Holidays" in our nations' stores. I am doing my bit to help the whole project on behalf of Christians everywhere. Today, I sent an e-mail to a local store that had wonderful things inside their catalog, but no mention of Christmas. (Unless you count Feliz Navidad by a singing Chiahuahua) I simply wished them a "Happy Holiday", but said I would not be shopping in their store, since I prefer a "Merry Christmas" in my home. I'm having a hard time understanding why 85% of Americans, who profess to be Christians should have to knuckle under for 15% of others in this joyous season. We are being sued right out of out traditions and culture. There will come a time when merchants will have no business in winter, because there is no Christmas to celebrate. My biggest plans involve writing a nice folksy letter to Kohl's, Sear's, Target, K Mart and others who do not recognize Christmas. This letter will wish them "Happy Holidays" and request the closure of my accounts with their plastic plates cut into a zillion little pieces. I will also mention that I will not be seeing any of them this season. So sorry, you know...but, there comes a time when we have to speak and be heard or silently watch the big boots march over our graves. In the Bible, there is a passage where God is asked if He would save an unrightous city if one good man could be found therein. You know the outcome.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Wouldn't You Know?

Wouldn't you know that Hurricane Wilma is headed right for our new place in Florida? We haven't even finished the remodeling, but if Ft.Myers gets a direct hit, there goes all our hard work and all that new carpeting and furniture. Drat! I am left wondering whether or not Bed, Bath and Beyond and Linens n Things will take back the ton of stuff I have purchased since returning to Ohio in September. I'll have to cross my fingers and hope that some other poor soul gets the hurricane instead of us. Some nice person I am! That F150 will be ambling down I-75 either the 31st of October or next Monday if there is damage. Oh, I could just swear!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Crazy World

By this time in your life, you should be taking things easy and enjoying the fruits of your labors. Instead, we act like lame brains and keep biting off bigger bites than we want to chew. The Florida place still stands exactly where we left it last month, but since then we have flown to Monterey to see #2 grandson for a week at the Defense Language Institute. California is beautiful and weird at the same time. We loved the sights along the Left Coast Highway and especially Pebble Beach Country Club. The Pacific is prettier than the Atlantic, but the people are a little bit unhinged. We came across a large group of people protesting the Iraq war, but they are the same ones who are in favor of abortion. Kill the babies --- Save the Muslims! Today, is totally off my radar screen. Living in Toledo, Ohio, you never expect to see anything controversial happening, but we are witness to how the Socialist Nazi Party works. They announced that they would march here to protest "Black Gangs" treatment of people in a largely white, Polish neighborhood in North Toledo. Well, the Nazis showed up after much pre-publicity on local radio shows, but they never marched. I believe that they depend on stirring up the people and then can prove their point without ever leaving the safety of their cars. Instead, gangs of young, black men rioted against the police who had been assigned to protect the neighborhood and prevent the invading Nazis from any harm. These young men broke into homes and businesses and looted and burned. Tonight, we are under curfew and the Ohio Highway Patrol has called up 50 extra troopers to patrol the district. I am so frightened! Even though I live across the river from Toledo, my daughter's husband is the Officer calling up the extra officers and he will be commanding them tonight. Why must our police be placed in this position for nothing, when so much is happening in the world? Yes, we have the war, Hurricane Katrina, wildfires in California, earthquakes in Pakistan, floods in the northeast and so many other truly important things. What is wrong? What can we do to stop useless people from living useless lives at the expense of society?

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Cookie's Oven

Where did the summer go? From the beginning of July to the middle of September --- I think I must have been sleep walking! We drive to Florida in July to take a new car to friends there. What the heck --- the gas was free and we got to stay at Lee and John's beautiful new house, so the only expense was a couple of motel rooms on the way down and back. While there, a friend of Clyde's picked that particular week to up and die! I felt like a ghoul going through his doublewide the day after his passing, so we didn't even take a really good look at the place or ask any questions. But, the experience of fixing up the last one and making a tidy profit was enough to make Jack's money grubbing heart beat swiftly and he offered them enough to tempt them, but not offend his surviving children. Imagine our surprise when the cell phone rang as we were driving out of the state and the family accepted our offer. Oh, Holy Cow! We finished the trip and brought the used trade-in back to Ohio. It was the worst trip we ever made to or from Florida and we've made quite a few trips. The used car had bald tires on the front and we had to stop in Kentucky and replace them and the dead battery. Every state had a deluge in store for us, but we made it home! We turned around and flew back to Ft. Myers on Aug. 18th with a few clothes, sheets and towels to begin the renovation of the "new" trailer. It is a 1971 SunHome with a new roofover, fairly new A/C and new porches (since Hurricane Charley ripped the old ones off last year). Inside, --- an absolute nightmare. Filthy, smelly (luckily, I can't smell anything) and needing to be almost gutted. We took a quick inventory of what should be done to make it profit worthy and something I can live in for a few winters. Jack started by ripping out the carpet and padding. Underneath, we found holes covered with pieces of 1/4th inch plywood or even duct tape. We tore out sinks, toilets, some cupboards, snack bars (with coke-bottle glass in the doors) and closed off a doorway into one bathroom from the guestroom. A good friend was out of work for a couple of weeks and he worked for us for 10 days, but we kept up with him and added 4 or 5 hours after he quit every night. Both of us were hitting the Darvocet N-100 bottle at regular intervals. The kitchen couldn't be trusted, so we bought plastic bins and put the paper plates and cereal bowls in them. Even the ice went in a new bin, until the new fridge, stove, hood, washer and dryer were delivered. We threw out piles of tasteless junk and the neighbors picked through it and toted it home as though it were a highly prized, rare find. We left after 21 days with new carpet, some new furniture, fixtures, appliances, new carpet in the porch (12'x19'). We have lots of ideas, --- like painting the dining room table legs and the buffet to match and look like a bookcase (minus the doors with the dratted coke-bottle glass). We saved money by painting chandeliers and anything that stood still with a can of flat-black Rustoleum. I found some adoreable little lampshades for the dining roomlight and saved us $135.00. Still, we are in hock to Lowes for about $6000. and have so much to do. WE have discovered that keeping busy, even too busy, makes us feel much younger. Perhaps the overwork will kill us, but people will say, "My, were't they ambitious?" By September 9th, we were back in Toledo and rushing around buying things for the place (towels, dishes, silverware, toasterovens, etc) and keeping dental and doctor appointments. I have to get those blasted carotid dopplers done on the 30th and see the surgeon on Oct. 4th. Everything about the Florida place will depend upon when the vascular genius wants to repair the mess he made last fall. This coming Tuesday, Sept. 20th we are flying to Monterey, CA to see Greg. He is lonesome and apparently will be happy to see anyone from the family --- even the grandparents. We stay from the 20th through the 27th and are praying that it will give Greg a taste of family to keep him going until Christmas when he can come home for the first time since last winter. Hopefully, I'll have time to make those chocolate ship cookies that Lesley says he likes. With Alex in Nyack, NY for college and Steven in Washington, I'll need to get that oven fired up anddd supplying those boys with homemade goodies. Lord! Give me strength! Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that I need 45 yards of fabric for the Florida curtains and about 40 yards of lining. I really need help! I guess I can't die for quite a while---- there is too much to do!

Tuesday, July 5, 2005

4th of July Weekend

We were at my daughter's house for the family birthday party and heard our first cicada for the summer. Oh, my goodness, where does the time go? Someone said, "Life is like a roll of toilet paper --- the closer you get to the end --- the faster it goes"! How true! I always heard that the first cicada of summer means only six weeks till the first frost. Does that mean we will have frost in late August? Oh, well, everything else is inside out and backwards --- why not the seasons? I have loved being in Ohio and watching everything turn green and the flowers come up and bloom, but the allergies are in full bloom, also. There is so much to accomplish in this life and the tendency is to put off until next year whatever is not convenient at the moment. Somehow, things have always gotten done, but usually at the last minute with a great hustle and bustle. But, the hustle has slowed down and the bustle is about busted. It is becoming harder and harder to do the last minute rush and get everything done. Soon, I will be unable to do all the things that were once a snap. I know this because my brother and his wife had their 50th wedding anniversary over the weekend and they looked terribly vulnerable. I would be extremely surprised if they make it to 51 years. He is five years older than I and I can see myself in his shoes in a few years, except that I will be celebrating fifty-seven years of wedlock when I am seventy-four. Nobody ever understands why old people walk so slowly and with such apparent effort --- well, guess what? That is all we are capable of doing and it is a huge effort. Each day brings changes and it is harder each day to pretend that you are really only thirty-five or even fifty-five. The missionary home at church needed to be packed up and stored again last week. I worked with one of the pastor's wives for eleven hours and then drove home feeling like I might just die any minute. Sort of doubt that I'll ever want to do that bit again -- four times are enough to quench the spirit and Lord knows --- the flesh is weak! Since I had been the one to purchase all the furniture and furnishings for the missionary home and had stored it once before, I am the logical one to sort things out when another missionary comes to occupy our home. Here's hoping that someone is ready to have the torch passed. I wonder what will happen to the Steinway Grand residing in my front bedroom if the missionary has not found a new home for it by the time I cash in my chips. For sure, I can't take that with me! My adoreable husband bought a half a horse to keep himself interested in life and then found out that he could rejoin the country club and use up his stock in the club as dues. That should give him about two years of golf with only driving range, putting green, locker room, caddy shack and dining fees to pay. Oh, no! There goes the budget again! :-)

Friday, May 13, 2005

Things are rushing along. My darling husband is busily training colts for a friend. The best part of the whole deal is that it keeps him out of my hair, gives him something he loves doing and he gets a few bucks for doing it. What more could I ask for? We have a kitchen without counter tops. The men are coming tomorrow to put in the new ones, then we will order the carpet for the rest of the condo. The about face is amazing. Jack has been agreeing to almost everything. Maybe, he has come to the realization that northwestern Ohio is home and always will be. He is having fun planning to remodel my bathroom and when it is all done, we will probably be ready to head back to Florida for another winter season, but renting this time. What a relief! My bright idea about making the upstairs into an exercise room is okay, but I have to find the time to do the goofy wallpaper border soon. The fans are installed and the exercise equipment makes it look like it was intended to be an exercise room. Make that a big plus for us --- a bonus room with a pull down stairs --- people who are in good enough shape to exercise should be able to climb those steps!
On this week's agenda is Alex and his videos. He came was in the top ten nationally for the Access Hollywood " The Ultimate Star Wars Fan". Then they had online voting and he made it to the top five in the country. Today, we found out that some 40 something with thousands of pieces of Star Wars junk won. But, my goodness, top five nationally is pretty darn good for an eighteen year old is great!
We are heading out on Monday to San Antonio for #2 grandson's graduation from Air Force Basic Training. Really, it is an excuse to go on a week's trip and run away from all duties. You just get so tired of keeping up with the younger generation. They don't know how much these bones and muscles hurt and how good it feels to get off your feet and onto your bottom. We look forward to seeing some scenery that is not I-75 between northern Ohio and southern Florida. Another fun thing is the shopping you get to do each time you go away. More new clothes! Yahoo! Next time I write anything here --- I hope my closet will be much lighter. I am seriously thinking of applying the two year rule. Haven't worn it---out it goes. Doesn't fit --- out it goes. Then, if all else fails --- the nuclear option --- go on a diet! Egads! That's about it for tonight --- see you next time I feel the muse upon me.

Monday, April 4, 2005

Cookie's Oven

Cookie's Oven

Here we are, just the two of us --- back from five months in Florida. Not a lot of suntan, just a bunch of "stuff" that we have packed and moved from pillar to post for the last few months, while our place sold and we moved from Ft. Myers to Cape Coral and tried to decide how to get our things back to Ohio. The weather was not spectacular in the sunny south --- sort of cool and rainy for Florida. Not your typical shorts and sweat --- more like slacks and sweaters, however, the blue skies and white fleecy clouds were present most of the time. Like our friends say, "You don't have to shovel sunshine off your sidewalks." Since, we are trying to follow God's will in our lives, we did sell and walked out $30,000.00 to the good after having five 5 years of Florida living with the taxes being the only expenses. I would say that is not too bad. We have waited upon the Lord for His leading. I have to say that the ridiculous prices for land must be His way of saying, "No, this is not for you guys". I hope that He is not preparing us for a serious illiness or something equally frightening. It has given us an excuse to fix up things that we were hesitant to tackle, but what the heck --- we have money to spend! So far, we have purchased a Ford 500, a Sony 42" HDTV, a 13" TV for the utility room, new porch furniture and intend to finish up the exercise room upstairs and put new counters and handles on the kitchen cabinets. I have to strike while Jack isn't looking and then this condo will be 2005 ready, in case we decide to sell it at any given moment. We have noticed a peacefulness surrounding us and we both feel that this is the right thing at this time. Our friend, Fred, is building a condo in Sarasota and he will not be using it in the winter season because that is breeding season for the horses, so we will probably be able to rent it for next year. Meanwhile, we have to finish up the details here and take a few side trips --- like go see our grandson graduate from the Air Force basic training and teck school in Texas later this summer. At 69 and 73, we have to take our fun wile we can. Believe it our not, I have an appointment on Tuesday for a nursing job this summer. I wonder if they will be interested in somebody this old. I may not look it, but many days --- I feel it. Lord, give me strength and the "peace that passeth all understanding".

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Twenty Somethings

WE watched FOX's "Dayside" today. They were talking about twenty-somethings who have working-world confusion and do not want to leave home or go into a lesser lifestyle. Do the people who decide how these programs are formatted not know that the same identity confusion lies at the other end of the working world? We awaken every day with a lack of purpose and a debilitating sense of ennui. At one time in our lives, we had a sense of importance and validation for taking up space with our bit of protoplasm. Surely, there is more after work is done. Our hearts hurt when we look into the mirror and see an older person and realize that there is no going back --- only forward into an unknown abyss. I don't think most people question their lives on a daily basis. They get up and live --- and then go to bed again. We, on the other hand, scrape each other raw with the desperate searching for something to do with the tiny bit of life that is left to us. We don't want to waste it, but in perusing the "great American dream", we lose sight of where we were heading fifty years ago. A lady of great beauty and grace has just stopped by and we talked of life, love, marriage and spirituality. I am left wishing I had her serenity and adaptability. Eva,--- God loves you and so do I. My thinking on old age will surely evolve as we are led along the way this spring. We will be back in Ohio, where regeneration of life is more visible than it is in Florida.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Probably Goofed, Again!

You have to be careful what you say when you have been married forever. I opened my mouth and said, " Golly, our Florida place will probably sell like a hotcake after those dreadful hurricanes". "His Lordship" took that as permission to sell the doublewide that shelters us in the terrible winters. It didn't even take a for sale sign to accomplish the deal. The office lady sent a nice couple from Massachusetts down the road and they thought all of half an hour before offering us $30,000. more than we had in it. You just can't pass up that kind of profit, so we will be out on our behinds in another month. We are filling our senses with blue skies and sunshine, while thinking of our dear families under eight inches of snow in northwestern Ohio. We will take our personal things to a friend's brand new home for an extra month here, but have not been able to find a lot that wouldn't take more money than our farm cost in 1977. I want to travel and rent something when the winters get tough, but the husband wants to sell our real home in Ohio and live here all the time. True, Florida is beautiful, but it is also crowded with snowbirds, spring-breakers and impatient Floridians who drive like kamikaze pilots. Our kids and grands are in Ohio --- what if one of us should die? The other would be forced to live here among golden oldies who walk their dogs in baby carriges and ride three wheeled bikes. I love my Ohio home! If the snow gets up to the roof, I would shut the drapes, turn on all the lights and read books, quilt or mess with the computer, while pretending that the sun was shining outside. Meanwhile, it is too late to worry about, it is a done deal and the new "almost owners" are measuring walls and busily thinking of ways to garbage up what I have so tastefully decorated! Help! The people here don't understand the principle of less looks better and clutter is crap. I know that I will not even be able to drive by here in another month or I will cry. God --- what do You have in mind for us? You have lead us from the very beginning, when we knew You not. I will trust that You have something much better ahead and we should " Be still and know that you are GOd".